How do I Defend Against an EMP Threat?

An ever-present threat in the digital age, electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) are a relatively recent addition to the terrorist arsenal.

The EMP threat is a terrifying weapon in the war on terror.The EMP threat is a terrifying weapon in the war on terror.
They threaten the very fabric of society by disrupting radio transmissions and rendering electrical devices and power cables useless. A powerful, well-timed EMP attack would clog the highways with useless and immovable cars, force hospitals to close, prevent emergency services from communicating, wipe out computer hard drives and cause fear and havoc nationwide.
EMP attacks behave in a similar way to lightning.

Grounding is one key way of reducing the effect of an EMP attack on your home. By giving the electrical current an easier route to take than the one directly through your home and all its electrical devices, you can provide vital protection. The best form of grounding is to drive a metal pole deep enough into the earth to reach the water table. Attach this pole to the walls of your home to allow the current to flow away from all your electrical equipment.

Faraday cages are a vital way of protecting electronic devices from an EMP blast while they are not being used. Surrounding the device entirely in an earthed box covered in metal or foil protects it from the harmful effects of the EMP wave. Many people keep spare pieces of vital equipment such as radios and freezers under the protection of a Faraday cage at all times.

Using the right devices is a key way of defending against an EMP attack. Modern equipment has increasingly intricate electrical components, which render them vulnerable to electromagnetic terrorism. When buying an emergency generator, for example, try to find an older diesel model, as these tend not to have computerized components and are more likely to withstand an EMP attack.

Always plan ahead. Ensure that you have an evacuation route in mind that allows you to escape any building in which you find yourself without the use of any electrical device. Learn basic survival techniques for the weeks and months following an EMP blast; ensure you know how to harvest rainwater, put aside enough canned food to see you through and buy and maintain a bicycle.

Things You Will Need

  • Faraday cage
  • Earthing rod
  • Canned food
  • Bicycle
  • Survival equipment


  • Defending against EMP threats need not be expensive. Ensure you plan well ahead and have everything in place should the worst happen. Preparation is key.

About the Author

Ed Hill has been writing press releases and news pieces since 1999. His work has appeared in "Wessex Scene," "Show House," "Media Week" and other trade titles pertinent to his professional advertising experience. He holds a Master of Arts in English from Southampton University.